The All Progressives Congress (APC) will pick President Muhammadu Buhari as its presidential flagbearer on September 15.
This is contained in a letter showing that the party has slated its primaries to elect candidates for the 2019 general elections from September 8 to 29, 2018 when candidates for state Houses of Assembly will emerge.
The APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, in a letter he signed dated August 17, 2018 and addressed to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said the party would start its primaries on Saturday, September 8 with the nationwide local government area congresses to elect delegates to the national convention.
The party, has, however, accused INEC of leaking the letter to the press.
On Saturday, September 15, according to the letter, the APC would conduct its presidential primary to elect the presidential candidate through direct or indirect method. Also, the party would, on Wednesday, September 19, conduct the primaries to elect candidates for House of Representatives elections.
On Thursday, September 20, the ruling party would conduct its primaries to elect candidates for senatorial elections, while on Monday September 24 the APC would hold at its primaries to elect candidates for governorship elections.
Lastly on Saturday, September 29 the party would conduct primaries to elect its House of Assembly candidates.
The letter stated, “This (letter) serves as a formal notification pursuant to the provisions of Section 85 of the Electoral Act (2010) as amended. Kindly arrange for your officials to monitor the exercise accordingly.”
Spokesperson to the APC, Yekini Nabena, in a statement issued on Thursday, had distanced the party from a primary election timetable that was published by a newspaper and said the party was yet to announce the timetable for its primary elections to select candidates for the State House of Assembly, National Assembly, Governorship and Presidential positions.
“Our attention has been drawn to a timetable circulating in the social media and published today (August 23, 2018) in Daily Times Newspaper, purportedly for the All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries for State House of Assembly, National Assembly, Governorship and Presidential positions,” the statement said.
Daily Times had reported that the party had released the dates for its primaries with September 15 as the scheduled date for the State House of Representatives; September 19 for the Federal House of Representatives, September 23 for the Senate House and September 28 for the Governorship.
However, the Acting National Publicity Secretary, Nabena claimed that the timetable was “fake and should be disregarded,” as he added that the APC was yet to announce its official timetable for the primaries.
You leak our congresses, primaries’ notices, APC accuses INEC
The APC reacted on Friday accusing INEC of leaking information on its Congresses and Primary elections submitted to the commission.
The party made the allegation in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yekini Nabena, on Friday in Abuja.
It said that there was need for INEC to look into its internal handling of official correspondence in order to put a stop to such leaks.
The party said that it was aware of leakage of a letter by its National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, to INEC informing it of the schedule of the party’s congresses and primaries to elect party candidates for the 2019 elections.
“These leaks of our sensitive and confidential correspondence to INEC are becoming commonplace and totally unacceptable.
“We strongly request that INEC looks into its internal handling of official correspondence and put a stop to these leaks,” it said.
It added that the leaked formal notification to INEC was sent by the party in line with the provisions of Section 85 of the 2010 (Amended) Electoral Act.
The party, however, advised the public, particularly the media, to wait for an official announcement from the party, saying that the leaked dates were subject to changes if necessary.
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Solomon Soyebi and Director, Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, did not take several calls made to their mobile telephone lines.
On his part, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, told NAN that he had no comment on the issue as he had not got full brief on the allegation.